Franklin football team ends season with WIAA playoff loss to Badger
Missed chances are critical in loss
Franklin - The Franklin football team and coach Louis Brown don't see the triple option run attack that Lake Geneva Badger ran to great effect against the Sabers in a 28-21 season-ending WIAA Division 1 Level 2 playoff game very often.
But that doesn't wholly explain why the Sabers' otherwise sound 7-3 season came to a surprisingly abrupt ending on Friday.
"Their offensive line was pretty good and they just do what they do well," Brown said. "They run as good as anyone who has that offense.
"But for us, one of the things we talked about afterward was missed opportunities. Our seniors had chances to make plays and it didn't quite happen."
Injuries play a part
The Sabers' chances of slowing down Badger's offense was hurt immensely when all-world defensive end Adam Conley went down with an injury. Back and defensive back Chad Walton, who had just returned a few weeks ago after missing much of the campaign with injury problems, was also hurt again during this game.
But the Sabers were still in the game at 14-all going into the second half, courtesy of a 13-yard Joe Falzon TD reception from Sean McGuire and then an 8-yard run from McGuire.
Franklin was supposed to get the ball first in the second half, but the Badger kicker mishit the ball and it bounced off the facemask of a Sabers' player and was recovered by Badger. They converted that in a 12-yard Pete Krien touchdown run that put Badger ahead for good.
"Then it happened again (on the kickoff)," said Brown, "and they got the ball again. We held them that time but we still didn't get our hands on the ball until about the six-minute mark of the third quarter."
Opposing QB a threat
And before the Sabers could mount a serious threat, Badger stretched the lead to 28-14 on a 30-yard Krien to Andrew Cychner pass. Krien was a major pain to the Sabers both with his feet and arm, as he also rushed for 116 yards, including a 36-yard first-quarter TD.
But as noted by Brown, the Sabers had chances.
"We must have dropped about six passes," he said, "including one that was a certain touchdown, and then we thought we had made an adjustment on a fourth-and-11 play of theirs, but we left a kid wide open and that went for a touchdown."
Franklin misses out late
Still, Franklin had an opportunity to tie the game. The Sabers made it 28-21 with about four minutes to go on a McGuire 1-yard run. Falzon hit what Brown thought was an excellent onside kick attempt, but his player fell down and Badger recovered.
Franklin never got the ball back as the Badgers came up with some critical first downs.
"Give them credit," said Brown. "They have three or four major kids who go both ways, but they sucked it up and played hard."
McGuire finished the game 11-of-23 passing for 174 yards while Krien only hit three passes, but as mentioned, two of them went for scores.
Badger (8-2) will now play defending state Division 1 champion Bradford (7-3) in a Level 3 playoff game this weekend.
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